WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS
The Washington State Cougars are coming off of a huge win AT Pauley Pavillion 82-81. This on the heels of a loss at USC 51-61. The win at Pauley shows that this league can have an upset at any moment. Each team, save Oregon, has a guy who can go off for 30 on any night. Last Saturday, that guy was Taylor Rochestie. He went nuts, scoring 33 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. He also hit all 10 of his free throws. On scoring 33 points, he allowed his teammates to elevate their game as well and Klay Thompson, Caleb Forrest, and Aron Baynes all scored in double digits. UCLA is definitely on the skids, but Washington State turned in a gem on Saturday.
Unfortunately for Washington State, they also dropped the ball and suffered a defeat at USC on Thursday, losing 61-51. Taylor Rochestie scored 16 points on 6-13 shooting. The Trojans went on a 17-2 run in the first half to take control of the game. They led by 8 at the half and never looked back.
Let's take a look at Taylor Rochestie's stats, I mean, the Washington Cougars stats for the year:
The Cats travel to Pullman, Washington on Thursday on the heels of a heartbreaking loss at Arizona State. The Cats trailed by as much as 17 points and fought their way back to take a 2 point lead late in the half. They traded baskets with ASU and came out on the short end of the stick. It was a tough loss in Tempe, but the Cats should take nothing but positive things from the game. Kyle Fogg played wonderful. Chase, Nic, and Jordan all were on fire. Jamelle came in and gave nominal points, but did the job. I liked 99% of the coaching, and thought our drive was incredible.
Although we won at the Oregon schools, our record on the road is not great. We beat both Washington schools a couple of weeks ago and should be ready to play. Arizona went on a 24-2 run to help beat Washington State 66-56. Let's hope we can put together another run on Thursday and keep Rochestie under wraps. Let's take a look at the Cats stats:
Keys to the Game:
Wise Up. Nic Wise has been a star the last 8 games. We need his leadership and poise to keep us on track. He creates opportunities that don't even show up in the box score. We need him to have solid performances every game if we are to be competitive.
Chase Budinger's Defense. I think that the Cats will place Budinger on Taylor Rochestie for the game. We got burned enough against Arizona State to let someone pick us apart from beyond the arc. I didn't mind Pennell's move in the Arizona State game to not change up the defense, but with Thompson and Rochestie, we must not allow them to drain 3's all day. We are going to have to transition to man-to-man if we can't keep them under wraps.
Watch out for Thompson. Do y'all remember this? Klay Thompson has had some monstrous games this year and if you don't keep tabs on him, he can really punish you.
The Wildcats should be alright this Thursday at Pullman. I would be surprised if Washington State was favored in this game. We are still hot and our loss at ASU should not stop our momentum. Our guys still realize that they are playing at a high level, and minimal change is needed after the ASU game. Let's hope that Pennell can coach on the fly and adjust to Rochestie or Baynes if they start to get out of hand.
I am pretty confident. Thoughts?